I have started to hear phantom alarms. This is not a metaphor, although it is most assuredly probably not a good thing.
It started maybe a week ago; I woke up too early in the morning, and the sun was still rising. I laid in bed, with the window open — thank God that Portland is finally getting warm after a long winter from Hell — and listened to the sound of birds chirping, and people starting early morning walks to work. It was very relaxing, until I noticed the alarm in the distance.
More than anything, it sounded like a burglar alarm or a fire alarm at a building some distance away. It wasn’t loud, just the opposite; my first thought was that it sort of faded in and out on the wind, and was almost relaxing in its insistence. It was just present, and constant in its tone when it did appear.
Over the next few days, I’d hear it again. Not always, and never loud. In the back of my head, I thought, Wow, someone needs to get their alarm fixed. It was only when I mentioned this to someone else that I realized something was up; they couldn’t hear anything.
Now, maybe they have bad hearing and I’m the one in the right. But isn’t it more likely that, instead of an alarm going off at random times during the day over and over again, always in the distance, that fades in and out that only I can hear, that I’m imagining it for some reason?
I’m sure this has some meaning, and I’m equally sure it’s not a good one. But, yes; I’ve started to hear phantom alarms, and it’s not a metaphor.